Google Classroom FAQ for Elementary Teachers

Google Classroom FAQ for Elementary Teachers

New to Google Classroom? I’ve got you covered! Here is a rundown of the main features of Google Classroom that are indispensable for teachers.

What can you post?

In essence, just about anything and everything! To begin, Google Classroom allows you to make 5 different kinds of posts:

  • Assignment: posts where students can submit work to you
  • Quiz Assignment: posts where you can create a Google Form quiz directly from Google Classroom
  • Question: posts where you can ask students a question and students can respond with a short answer or answer multiple-choice questions
  • Material: posts where you are providing information to students; students do not submit any work
  • Post to the stream: An announcement, link, or item you post to the main stream that students see when they open Google Classroom

On any of the posts, you can link to an existing Google Doc, Google Slide, or Google Form that is in your Google Drive. Also, you can create a new Google Doc, Google Slide, or Google Form from that post. In addition, you can also link to a website, YouTube video, or PDF file. Many applications, such as Flipgrid or Nearpod, also can connect directly with your Google Classroom.

What are the important parts of an assignment post?

Screen shot of assignment menu in Google Classroom that teachers use to give work to students

For an assignment post, you have several options to customize your assignment for your students.

  • Title: This is where you write the title for your assignment. Tip: Don’t repeat titles- it will make it confusing for your students to distinguish between assignments
  • Instructions: Instructions are optional, but very helpful! Include any information that your students need to know about your assignment.
  • Add: This is where you can add something from your Google Drive, a Link, a File, or a video from YouTube.
  • Create: This is where you can create a new Doc, Slide, Sheet, Drawing, or Form.
  • For: An assignment will automatically default to posting in the Google Classroom you are working in. You can assign the same assignment to multiple Google Classrooms using this drop-down menu if you desire. It will also automatically post to all students but you can assign a post to individual students (or groups of students) using this drop-down menu.
  • Points: You can give your assignments any number of points or have an assignment be upgraded. The default points are 100.
  • Due: You can set a due date and a time an assignment needs to be turned in by. You can also select “no due date.”
  • Topics: You can put an assignment under a topic. Topics are great ways to organize assignments! See below for more ideas on how to use topics.
  • Rubric: You can create a rubric for your assignment within Google Classroom or upload one of your own.

When you’re ready to assign your post, click “Assign” in the upper right-hand corner. This will post your assignment automatically. Not ready to assign it yet? You can schedule the Screenshot showing how to schedule an assignment in Google Slidesassignment to post at another time! Just click the down arrow to the right of “Assign” and click schedule. Google Classroom will then prompt you to choose a date and time to schedule your assignment to post.

Menu for teachers to schedule an assignment

How do I use topics?

In the Classwork Section, you can set topics to organize your assignments and materials. Topics are very important to help make sense of several assignments. There are several ways to use topics:

  • 1. Organize by content (Math, Reading, Science, etc)
  • 2. Organize by unit
  • 3. Organize by the week or date range

The best way to organize topics is really up to you and your particular classroom. Topics and posts can be moved around on the Classwork page, so if you try one way of organizing topics, you can easily switch it.

How can parents access their child’s Google Classroom?

Parents need to log in as their child to access their child’s Google Classroom. Google Classroom does allow teachers to send out Guardian Email Summaries if they choose. These emails are brief and only show what assignments a student needs to turn in.

How do I lock a Google Slide presentation or Google Doc so that students can’t edit it, just view it?

When posting a Google Slide presentation or Google Doc, you will see sharing settings to the right of the Google Doc. You have three options for sharing:

  • 1. Students can view a file (students can only view your original file)
  • 2. Students can edit a file (warning- students will be able to edit your original file)
  • 3. Make a copy for each student (this is an amazing feature! Google Classroom will automatically make a copy of your file for each student. This will preserve your original and students will be able to directly type into their own copy of their assignment).

Screenshot showing how to assign assignments to students in Google Classroom

I have a large Google Slide presentation with multiple assignments. How can I split up assignments for my students?

If you have a large Google Slide deck, make a copy of and then delete the slides you don’t want the students to complete yet. Post the copy of the Google Slide deck for your students to work on. Make sure you choose “Make a Copy for Each Student” so they may edit their own slides.

Overall, Google Classroom is very intuitive once you get working in it. Use these simple tips to help you start using Google Classroom for distance learning. Once you get into the routine, you’ll want to start using it year-round once school is back in session!

 

Where can I find quality distance learning resources?

Looking for distance learning resources? Check out these resources built specifically for Google Classroom!

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